The volcano rumbles and erupts with deafening thunder, spewing fountains of fire high into the sky. Such is the image depicted on the cover of the debut album by Finnish metal band Burning Point. Appropriate in that it is also an apt metaphor for the music contained within. “ Salvation By Fire ” is commendable debut effort that ranges from the fast paced speed metal of ‘Under The Dying Sun’ and ‘Signs Of Danger’ to the groove oriented ‘Black star’ and ‘The One’ to the epic arrangement of the title track. Burning Point describe their music as being firmly in line with the tradition of classic heavy metal bands such as Accept, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, while still managing to put an individual stamp of their own on the new album.
The seeds of the band were sown in 1997 when guitarist Jukka Kyrö and singer/guitarist Pete Ahonen recorded a demo tape under the name of Planet Caravan and sent it off to several Scandinavian magazines. Very reminiscent of early Black Sabbath (as evidenced in the band name), the press gave the tape very positive reviews. This reaction spurred the musicians onto seeking out a full time drummer and bassist while concentrating on their music more seriously. In drummer Jari Kaiponen, they found the perfect partner and with his help they also drafted bass player Toni Kansanoja who completed the line up. The foursome promptly changed their name to Burning Point and began writing new material in earnest. After only two rehearsals together, the band had come up with a handful of songs that were recorded and sent out to the press. Fantastic reviews in Finnish magazines and rotation on a number of rock radio stations led to the band receiving an offer from a small Scandinavian label to finance a complete album.
After giving their first concerts in Finland to excellent receptions, the quartet moved into Neo Studios in their home town of Oulu to work on the material for their debut album. Entirely composed by Ahonen and Kyrö, the album was produced and mixed under the watchful eye of Kari Vähäkuopus over a five week period. Adding keyboard textures to some of the material was their friend Pasi Hiltula of the band Eternal Tears Of Sorrow. The eye catching cover art was courtesy of American comic book artist Bob Eggleton, who the band contacted via the internet. It was a first for Eggleton but the results were incredibly successful, giving a very vivid interpretation of the band’s musical style.
“ Salvation By Fire ” is a praiseworthy introduction from this Finnish four piece and underlines what a promising new addition to the heavy metal scene they’ve become. In Pete Ahonen, the band has a very talented front man, whose multiple talents give the band its innate versatility. Ahonen’s voice is traditionally that of a classic metal vocalist whilst still retaining an edge of his own. An aficionado of Yngwie Malmsteen, his guitar playing combines light fingered speed picking side by side with some breathtaking solos, which often culminate in some tasteful twin guitar passages with musical partner Jukka Kyrö. The rhythm section of Toni Kansanoja and Jari Kaiponen, harness the band’s energy, forming a rock solid foundation upon which the others can build their powerful melodies. Following the release in October of “ Salvation By Fire ”, Burning Point will tour Finland and will hopefully soon be on the road throughout Germany and neighbouring countries.